Amazon.com sells shark fin soup

It seems that Amazon.com is carrying shark fin soup and other products through third-party vendors Roland, Pacific Rim Gourmet, VitaminLife, and Seagate.  With all the controversy surrounding shark fins and the horrible practices used to harvest fins, Amazon should be ashamed to be carrying shark fin soup and should rectify the problem immediately by pulling all shark fin products from their catalog.

What you can do:

  1. Leave feedback at Amazon’s product page for Roland Shark Fin Soup, Dragonfly Shark Fin Soup, VitaminLife, and Seagate.
  2. Participate in the discussion over at Amazon about the product and why it’s bad for them to carry it
  3. Send e-mail to Roland Food at Phyllis.Goldberg@rolandfood.com, Pacific Rim Gourmet at customerservice@pacificrim-gourmet.com, VitaminLife at customerservice@vitaminlife.com, Seagate Products at their contact form, and write letters of protest to:

    Pacific Rim Gourmet
    75-5660 Kopiko Street, Suite C7-210
    Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

    15940 Redmond Way
    Redmond, WA 98052

    Seagate Products/First Fishery
    9484 Chesapeake Dr. Suite 802
    San Diego, CA 92123

  4. Write to Amazon.com at Advantage Customer Service (advantage@amazon.com) and Investor Relations (ir@amazon.com)
  5. Spread the word through your webpage, blog, etc. (code available here)
  6. Boycott Amazon.com until they comply
  7. Join our discussion in the forums

*UPDATE* 10:39AM Jan 8, 2007 - The Roland product is now no longer available as well.  Good work, everyone!  However, it is no longer possible to leave feedback on this product.  6 of our supporters got in before it was no longer possible to leave reviews.

*UPDATE* 12:03AM Jan 6, 2007 - Amazon has pulled all 35+ negative reviews for the Dragonfly product. They have introduced a new product, Shark Fin Cartilage Powder sold through VitaminLife.

*UPDATE* 06:55PM Jan 3, 2007 - Dragonfly Shark Fin Soup now shows “not available.”  Hopefully, our campaign is working.

Amazon’s response (many more in the discussion):

From: “Amazon.com Customer Service”

Date: January 3, 2007 8:22:37 PM PST
To: Eric Cheng
Subject: Your Amazon.com Order (#002-4674713-8452848)

Thank you for writing to Amazon.com with your concerns about “Dragonfly Shark Fin Soup”.

As a retailer, our goal is to provide customers with the broadest selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any item they might be seeking.  That selection includes some items which many people may find objectionable.  Therefore, the items offered on our web site represent a wide spectrum of opinions on a variety of topics.

We value all feedback from our customers, and I thank you again for taking the time to send us your comments about this issue.  We hope you will allow us to continue to serve you.

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

Best regards,

Amazon.com Customer Service

Please continue to follow up, should you get this message back from Amazon!  Here was my reply:

This is an unacceptable response. 

If by facilitating the sale of “some items which many people may find objectionable” you mean selling a food which is so controversial that most governments have banned the practice used to harvest them, then you have succeeded.

I am boycotting Amazon until this product is removed from your shelves. You can see from my account record that I have been a loyal customer, that is, until now. 

We have a multi-publication campaign about this unfortunate situation right now that is getting to tens of thousands of prospective customers, and you’ll be hearing from all of us.  Many of them will not buy from Amazon until this issue is resolved.

It looks like we are making progress. Here’s a more recent response from Amazon (Jan 7, 2007):

Thank you for writing to Amazon.com with your comments regarding
the “shark fin soup.”

Please be assured that we are removing the sale of these items from our website. We always value customer feedback, and I have passed along your desire that we exclude items of this sort from our site.

You can also confirm by visiting our website that some of these particular listings has been already removed and no longer available for sale on our site. I hope this information put you mind at ease.

It is always important for us to hear how customers react to all aspects of shopping at Amazon.com. Strong customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the selection and service we provide, and we appreciate the time you took to write to us.

“I hope that you will give us another opportunity to prove the quality of our service to you in the future.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us at Amazon.com.